The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend Norvel Goff

Baber African Methodist Episcopal Church
Rochester, NY

Sponsor: Rep. Rep. Louise Slaughter, (D-NY)
Date of Prayer: 04/17/2002

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, today we opened this legislative day with a prayer from the Reverend Norvel Goff , Sr. I would like to take a moment to tell my colleagues and the country about Reverend Goff and the significant role he plays in my community.

Reverend Goff has served as pastor of Baber African Methodist Episcopal Church in Rochester since 1991. He has been an outstanding advocate in civil rights, economic justice, and peace issues in the Rochester community.

Reverend Goff is joined here today by his wife, Anna Marie, and his son, Norvel, Jr., who is a law student at Howard University; and they have a younger son, John, who is a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Reverend Goff is a teacher, a lecturer, a writer and an outstanding orator. He has served on numerous community boards and committees in Rochester, including the Monroe County Public Defender's Advisory Board, the Community Energy Board, and Fleet Bank's Community Development Corporation Board.

Reverend Goff currently serves as the president and CEO of the Greater Rochester NAACP and is chairman of the Black Ministers Alliance in Rochester. Under his leadership, the Black Ministers Alliance founded the Footprints Program, which is a partnership with local banks that has provided more than $10 million in mortgages for first–time homeowners. The Rochester chief of police recently appointed Reverend Goff as the chairman of the Faith Community Subcommittee Initiative Against Illegal Drugs in Rochester.

Reverend Goff continuously displays extraordinary commitment to the children of the Baber African Methodist Episcopal community and to all the other children in Rochester. He serves as a mentor and encourages academic achievement among the area youth. Reverend Goff recognizes the children of his church who make the honor roll at a church service and takes the time to visit and have lunch with them at school and check on their progress.
Reverend Goff's accomplishments in the area of civil rights, business, community and religious affairs have earned him numerous awards, including the Annual Friends of Education Award from the Rochester City School District and the Winn Newman Pay Equity Award from the National Committee on Pay Equity.

Reverend Goff is truly a modern–day crusader for justice, and I am grateful for his valuable work in our community. I am pleased that the House of Representatives could have him lead us in such a powerful prayer. ;

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

O God, our Heavenly Father, Almighty and Everlasting God, we come this day to thank You for last night's rest and early rising this morning. We come praying on behalf of and for the Members of Congress as they seek to know and to do Thy will for America and in the works of the House of Representatives.

O most gracious God, who knows the secrets of our hearts and the thoughts of our minds, we humbly beseech You as we pray for peace throughout the world.

We pray for our President of these United States of America, and the leaders around the world, that You will guide and direct them, that You would lead this world into a path of peace and happiness, truth and justice.

Direct us, O Lord, in all of our endeavors, that in You we may glorify Your most holy name. These and many other blessings we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.


To learn more about Members who have sponsored a Guest Chaplain, please visit the Congressional Biographical Directory